Searching for My Grandfather and the Tulsa in Me

100 Years Later, I’m Still Sifting Through the Tulsa Race Massacre’s Destruction to Find Our Family’s History

I am my father’s daughter.

I am the first-born daughter, the middle child, who was called Sweet Pea, Mama-Daddy, and Peanie. Naming is very important in the Black community. The act of naming is a great power, reminding each of us how to find one’s voice and how to define, and redefine oneself. Children’s nicknames suggest characteristics that relatives have observed, or into which they believe young people will grow; these can serve as the foundation of your identity.

Sweet Pea is my father’s endearing recognition of the energy and …